You probably use sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful, ultraviolet rays, but your eyes need protecting from the sun too.
Ultraviolet (UV) rays are part of the light spectrum reaching the earth from the sun. Some studies suggest these rays are a cause of increasingly poor eyesight as we age (macular degeneration).
Sun exposure can also cause other serious eye conditions, such as cataracts. One in five cases of cataracts may be caused by sun damage. Many of these cases could be avoided with good UV protection.
To find out more about cataracts read our article about long-term eye conditions.
How to protect your eyes from the sun
Follow the advice below to protect your eyes from the sun and to help keep your eyes and vision healthy for as long as possible.
Choose your sunglasses wisely
Splashing out on expensive sunglasses won’t necessarily protect your eyes. Sunglasses labelled UV400 offer the best protection because they block out even the tiniest UV rays. Choose large lenses and a wraparound style to protect as much of your eyes as possible.
Wear UV blocking contact lenses
Even good quality sunglasses let in the sun around their rim. Contact lenses with UV blocking filters sit over the cornea and lens of your eyes to give them additional protection. For the best protection wear wraparound sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat too.
All ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses have UV blocking filters embedded into the lens to help protect your eyes from the transmission of the sun’s harmful rays.1
Wear a hat
A wide-brimmed hat will provide added protection for your eyes. It will also help protect your face and chest from sun damage and prevent sunstroke.
Beware of reflected light
Light reflecting off of sand, snow or water intensifies sun exposure. Make a special effort to protect your eyes if you are on a beach, skiing, close to water or at a high altitude.
Take note of the time of day
The sun is at its strongest between 10am and 2pm. However, research has found that your eyes are most at risk from sun damage during mid-morning and late afternoon. Try to protect your eyes at all times throughout the day.
Whatever the weather
Most of us take precautions to protect our eyes on sunny days, but UV rays can damage our eyes on cloudy days too. It is therefore important to protect your eyes from UV exposure all the time.
ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses help to protect your eyes from the sun throughout the year, whatever the weather.
Ask your eye care practitioner
Visit your eye care practitioner on a regular basis, as requested. During your appointment, ask your practitioner for more advice about how to protect your eyes from the sun.
You can use our online search tool to find an eye care practitioner near you here.
Eat your greens
Eat leafy vegetables and colourful fruits, rich in the anti-oxidant vitamins A, C and E. The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin are thought to be particularly beneficial for eye health. Lutein is found in yellow peppers, mangos and green, leafy vegetables. Broccoli, corn, oranges and eggs are good sources of zeaxanthin.
You can find more about the best foods for good eye health here.
Take care of the kids
Most sun damage occurs in childhood. Remember to protect your children’s eyes with UV blocking wraparound sunglasses and a hat.
The sun’s harmful UV rays can be just as damaging to your eyes as they are to your skin. ACUVUE® is the only major contact lens brand that blocks more than 98% of the transmission of the sun’s UVB rays and 85% of its UVA rays as standard across its product range.1
Our 1-DAY ACUVUE® TruEye® contact lenses offer the highest UV protection of any daily disposable contact lens. Or if you prefer a reusable contact lens, choose ACUVUE OASYS® or ACUVUE OASYS® for ASTIGMATISM.1
1. All ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses have UV Blocking to help provide protection against transmission of harmful UV radiation to the cornea and into the eye. UV absorbing contact lenses are NOT substitutes for protective UV absorbing eyewear such as UV absorbing goggles or sunglasses because they do not completely cover the eye and surrounding area. You should continue to use UV absorbing eyewear as directed by your eye care professional.